Saturday, December 31, 2011

A bit of 2011 review

2011 was a busy year for us as we moved in the middle of the year.  I've used the move as an excuse for not getting much done quilt wise this year - but I suspect I might have been a slacker anyway!

Early in the year I attended the Mid-Atlantic Quilt show in Hampton, Virginia.  I really like the shows put on by the Mancuso brothers.  Lots of beautiful quilts, wonderful vendors, and classes by national teachers. 

I took the class Arc-I-Textures with Carol Taylor whose work I've always admired.  The class was fun, but I did not love my piece after it came together.   It's still hanging on my "wall of shame" and may remain there to mock me for some time to come.  I'd like to try the technique again in a different color palette.

At the end of last year I joined a local art group - Art That Works.  The group issues quarterly challenges.  One of the challenges was to use a haiku as inspiration for for a work.  I must confess that this butterfly was something I'd started in a class with Marilyn Wall a couple of years ago, so I wrote a haiku to go with the butterfly. 

Black/white butterfly
flitting around the garden
delicate beauty

Unfortunately, I STILL haven't finished this work - although now all it needs is to be quilted, so I've made progress.

The zentangle challenge was a really tough one for me.  I had a horrible time just trying to doodle to create zentangles.  Others find very relaxing, but I found my inner critic really speaks up when I try to do it.  I finally ended up with this piece, which isn't really a zentangle, but about as close as I was going to get.  One good thing about challenges is learning whether a technique speaks to you or not - and this one sure doesn't!

Another challenge was to use a technique out of a book, magazine or published source you've always wanted to try.  I was interested in a resist technique I'd read about on the blog Tommy the Material Girl that I follow.  She describes the technique using Elmers gel school glue here.   I just used the glue as it came out of the bottle and, like Tommy, found that the lines were too gloppy.   I used a variety of paints and inks to color the background and the leaves.  It was kind of fun to do, but I'd certainly try to fine tune the resist application the next time.

We've also been working for the past year on our Charles Towne Landing challenge.  Charles Towne Landing is the site of the first permanent settlement in the Carolinas.   After a photo field trip to the park we were challenged to make a work inspired by our photos.  I found I was very taken with the various walkways in the park and had many photos of them.  Eventually I decided my piece would feature those walkways.  My eventual plan is to combine these 3 different small pieces into one piece.  My problem right now is that the finished size of our work can't be larger than 36" and my current plan is too big.  I'm still working on it and we're due to reveal the quilts in a couple of weeks YIKES!

We are slated to display the quilts at Charles Towne Landing in a special exhibit in April so I better get busy.

My guild is gearing up for its quilt show the first weekend in March.  I'm going to enter 3 quilts. 

Stars over Monterrey:

Whole Cloth (made in a machine quilting class with Judy Heyward using her pattern)

Wonky Log Cabin

If you're in the area March 2-3 make sure to stop by the show!

Monday, December 05, 2011

this & that

I haven't been posting much at all since I don't really have anything exciting to post about.  I haven't been sewing with any regularity.  I have a big project that I need to work on - a challenge that is due soon - but it's nowhere near completion.   I need to get back to the sewing machine soon.

I had a couple of things I wanted to embroider, but my embroidery attachment is on the fritz.  The best repair person for the Bernina machines is in Myrtle Beach - about 1.5 - 2 hours from here.  I finally took it up there a week or two ago and the verdict is that there is something wrong with the touch screen.  It's supposed to be about a $200 repair.  I had hoped that it would either be super expensive to repair or not repairable at all so I could consider a new machine!  

Last weekend we went down to Savannah for the Savannah River Bridge Run.  Jerry has been running the 10K portion of this race for the last several years.  The race requires the runners to run over the bridge to Hutchinson Island and then back again to downtown Savannah. 

We go down with our friends John & June and John runs the race as well.  June and I usually stand on the sidelines and cheer them on. 

 At last year's race June and I decided we'd do the 5K portion of the race this year - I was going to run/walk and June was going to walk.   The 5K portion starts on Hutchinson Island so we would only have to get over the bridge once.  At 6:30 Saturday morning we both decided we had made a rash decision!    June has been dealing with some foot and knee problems and shouldn't have even attempted it, but she was a trooper and made it the entire distance.   I had to walk up the bridge span but managed to run most of the remaining distance.  My time wasn't very good - 42 minutes but it was a beautiful morning and the view was great from atop the bridge.  I think next year I'll be watching from the sidelines again.

I'm taking a class this weekend on making fabric baskets, so maybe I'll have pictures to post!